Looking for a quick weeknight dinner that will impress? This Mustard Cream Chicken Sauté recipe is easy, quick and delicious. Reminiscent of Julia Child’s French dishes it is sure to be a hit for anyone craving a decadent, comforting meal!
Who doesn’t t love a good cream sauce? This easy recipe for Mustard Cream Chicken Sauté can be made in just about 30 minutes.
I love French food; I mean everything is rich, decadent and delicious. I’ve read many of Julia Child’s cookbooks (my favorite one is this one) and I love how so many of her dishes are very simple and made with just a few ingredients. (Funny, that’s why my Mom’s recipes are so good too!)
Mustard Cream Chicken Sauté reminds me of something Julia would have made. A moist tender chicken breast browned with a few simple things; then deglazing the pan with the secret ingredient, while scraping up all the bits of deliciousness to give a very flavorful base for the addition of mustard and cream.
No one will guess what the secret ingredient is, but they will detect something that deepens the flavor just a bit. It’s Pernod (pronounced pear-NO.)
While I’d normally use wine when making a sauce for chicken I wanted something a little less a tang/acidic. With the addition of mustard it already had an acidic flavor in it. By using Pernod you add a slight licorice/anise flavor to the sauce.
It’s not really in your face strong, but just hints of it. And wow, it may be subtle, but it adds a great depth of flavor that really elevates the dish.
I tried this dish with half & half and heavy cream but in the end felt the heavy cream gave better results. The half & half produces a sauce that was just a little too thin.
This dish works great over rice, which is how I have it pictured but it would work equally well with pasta, creamed cauliflower or mashed potatoes.
I offer it to you as part of my 2-fer series where you prepare one major meal then have a second way to serve a part of it for a completely different flavor profile.
This one is kind of a cheater on the 2-fer concept because you essentially just sauté a few extra pieces of chicken to chop up for use in a chicken salad sandwich for the next evening. (You can use my homemade mayo recipe here or just use store bought)
I make my chicken salad with the addition of dried cranberries and a handful of chopped nuts. I prefer walnuts, but you can use pecans, pistachios or even sunflower seeds too. It’s not your average chicken salad for sandwiches…. Its much more filling! Buy a really nice flavorful loaf of bread that you can slice just before serving for this amped up chicken salad—it’s worthy of it!
- 2 lb chicken breasts skinless boneless ** See notes for 2-fer meal addition for chicken)
- 1 Tablespoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (divided)
- 1 large shallot peeled and minced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 3 Tablespoons mustard any kind (I prefer dijon or whole grain)
- 1/3 cup Pernod
- 1 cup Heavy whipping cream
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Cut each chicken breast in half and then pound 1/2" thickness maintaining consistent thickness for the chicken piece to allow for even cooking.
In a small bowl place salt, pepper and tarragon and blend evenly.
Sprinkle spice blend evenly and press into each side of chicken breasts.
Heat a saute pan to high, then add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan and swirl to cover entire bottom of pan.
Place chicken breasts in the hot pan with plenty of room in between each breast to allow for even cooking. Reduce heat to medium high to prevent excessive browning. Cook in batches being careful to not overcrowd the pan.
Cook chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, testing to make sure when you are done cooking that juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink when you cut in center with a knife.
Place chicken breasts on a plate and cover with foil and repeat until all breasts are cooked.
Once all chicken is removed add one additional tablespoon of olive oil to pan, swirling again to cover entire bottom. Add shallots and cook until translucent, (about 4-5 minutes.)
Add minced garlic to pan and cook for one additional minute.
Add Pernod to pan. Using a wooden spoon/spatula to scrape up all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan from the browning of the chicken.
Continue to stir until liquid is reduced down to half.
Then and mustard and blend completely.
While stirring, slowly pour heavy cream in to pan allowing mixture to combine and thicken up slightly about 3-5 minutes.
Taste sauce at this point and season with salt and pepper to your preference.
Add chicken back into pan making sure to incorporate into the sauce any juices left on the plate they were resting on.
Let chicken reheat through for a few minutes.
Serve chicken breasts over rice*(See note 2) spooning some additional sauce over the top.
1. This recipe is for one meal only. If you are making this chicken for a 2-fer meal the next day (chicken salad sandwich) saute and additional 1/2 lb of chicken breasts. Prepare breasts up until step 6 and set those portions aside to cool. Once completely cooled store in an airtight container until the next day when you are making the chicken salad.
2. This chicken also works well over mashed potatoes, pasta noodles(I prefer linguini) and creamed cauliflower.